Despite bad weather, outbreak of pandemic, ‘Israel’ continues to confiscate Palestinian tents

Occupied West Bank (QNN)- The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that on 16 February, the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) confiscated five donor-funded livelihood tents in Hamsa al-Bqai’a, in the northern Jordan Valley, as the tents were being assembled to provide shelter to the community and their livestock.

Over the first weeks of February the community has had 62 structures demolished in three incidents, leaving 60 people, including 35 children, displaced, placing them now at imminent risk of forcible transfer.

On 12 February, Palestinians gathered at Hamsa al-Bqai’a to show solidarity with the community which eventually led to clashes with Israeli occupation forces, resulting in 30 teargas inhalation injuries which were treated on site, said OCHA.

“The community’s vulnerability is compounded by expected severe winter conditions and by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

It also said that the community’s main needs are for protection, adequate shelter and shelter for their livestock.

“Due to the heavy military presence and fear of further confiscation/ interception of aid, other partners have also chosen to deliver assistance in nearby communities, which Hamsa al-Bqai’a community members can access.”

Since the start of 2021, the Israeli authorities have demolished, seized or forced people to demolish at least 197 Palestinian- owned structures, including 77 donor-funded, displacing over 280 people, including some 150 children.

“This represents an over 200 per cent increase in structures targeted, and an over 500 per cent increase in donor-funded structures targeted, compared to the equivalent period in 2020,” it stated.

It added, “The humanitarian field team is continuing to assess the needs of the community.”

“However, to prevent further confiscations and place the community at greater risk, the support of the broader international community is critical, to ensure the Israeli authorities guarantee humanitarian access to provide assistance to people in need.”

(Source / 18.02.2021)

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